Is MLS Better Than Saudi League – Quick Comparison

In soccer, where passions run higher than the tallest mountains and rivalries are as deep as the darkest oceans, there has always been a burning question: is Major League Soccer (MLS) better than the Saudi Professional League?

It’s a debate that has captured the hearts of soccer enthusiasts around the globe, and you’re about to dive headfirst into a comprehensive comparison of these two leagues.

As you analyze and compare the MLS and the Saudi Professional League, you’re about to embark on a journey that will take you through the maze of quality, popularity, fan base, player salaries, and international success.

This quest for the truth will shed light on the prospects and growth of both leagues, ultimately bringing you closer to the answer you seek. So, strap yourself in, keep an open mind, and prepare to explore the thrilling world of professional soccer.

In a hurry? Here’s a quick & short answer that’ll definitely help you out!

The Major League Soccer (MLS) is generally considered superior to the Saudi League due to its higher competitive level, advanced infrastructure, and greater international recognition. Despite the Saudi League’s passionate fan base and local talent, MLS has a broader impact in global football.

Related: What Is The Difference between MLS And USL?

Major League Soccer (MLS)

Is Mls Better Than Saudi League

It’s no secret that Major League Soccer (MLS) has been making waves in the football world in recent years. Established in 1993, the league has grown in size and popularity, featuring 27 teams across the United States and Canada.

With a focus on developing local talent and attracting international stars, MLS has managed to create a competitive and entertaining product that continues to capture the attention of football fans around the globe.

As a testament to its growth, MLS has seen an influx of high-profile players, such as David Beckham, Thierry Henry, and Zlatan Ibrahimović, who have all played crucial roles in elevating the league’s profile and quality.

Additionally, the league’s homegrown players like Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey have significantly contributed to the US national team, showcasing the league’s ability to produce top-level talent.

These achievements, along with a passionate fan base and a dynamic structure, make MLS an exciting and promising force in football.

Saudi Professional League

Diving into the Saudi Professional League world, one can’t help but be intrigued by its history, competitive nature, and talented players that grace the field.

Established in 1976, the league has grown to become a powerhouse in Asian football, boasting a total of 16 teams that compete fiercely for the coveted championship title.

Throughout its existence, the Saudi Professional League has produced remarkable talents and witnessed memorable achievements, contributing to the overall development of football in Saudi Arabia and the Asian continent.

The league’s structure is similar to that of other prominent football leagues, with a promotion and relegation system to ensure a constant flow of fresh talent and competitive energy.

As you explore the fascinating world of the Saudi Professional League, you’ll come across legendary players such as Majed Abdullah, Sami Al-Jaber, and Yasser Al-Qahtani, who’ve made significant contributions to their clubs and the Saudi national team.

Additionally, Saudi clubs have enjoyed success in continental competitions like the AFC Champions League, with teams like Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad, and Al-Nassr routinely making deep runs in the tournament.

This level of achievement speaks to the growth and potential of the league as it continues to establish itself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of football.

Quality of Soccer: MLS vs. Saudi League

While both leagues showcase impressive talent and competitive play, there’s a notable distinction in the overall quality of soccer when comparing MLS to the Saudi Professional League.

MLS has made significant strides in recent years, attracting high-profile players, implementing player development programs, and expanding its fan base.

The league’s commitment to investing in its infrastructure and fostering homegrown talent has resulted in a more competitive and entertaining soccer brand.

In comparison, although rich in tradition and passion, the Saudi Professional League has reached a different level of prominence on the international stage.

The quality gap between the two leagues can also be attributed to the resources and efforts dedicated to player development.

MLS has invested heavily in youth academies, scouting networks, and partnerships with European teams, which has contributed to the growth and success of its players.

On the other hand, the Saudi League’s focus on importing foreign talent has somewhat hindered the progress of its local players.

This reliance on foreign players has limited opportunities for Saudi players to develop, thus preventing the league from reaching its full potential.

While both leagues have their strengths and weaknesses, the dedication of MLS to cultivating homegrown talent and maintaining a competitive environment ultimately gives it the edge over the Saudi Professional League.

Related: Is MLS Quality Improving?

Popularity and Fan Base: MLS vs. Saudi League

Is Mls Better Than Saudi League

You might think that comparing MLS’s popularity and fan base to the Saudi League would be like comparing apples to oranges, but you’d be surprised at just how much they have in common.

Both leagues have been working hard to increase local and international popularity, with the MLS making significant strides in recent years. Average attendance at MLS games has been on the rise, with the 2019 season seeing an average of 21,305 fans per game.

The Saudi League, on the other hand, has also experienced an increase in attendance, with the 2018-19 season drawing an average of 12,822 fans per game.

Regarding viewership, both leagues have been trying to expand their reach through various broadcast deals and digital platforms.

MLS has a clear advantage regarding social media presence, with a larger following on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This is partly because the MLS has been around longer and has had more time to build its fan base, but also because it has been more aggressive in its marketing efforts.

The Saudi League, however, is just a little behind and has been using social media to engage with fans and promote its clubs and players.

While the MLS may have a more extensive fan base overall, the passion and loyalty of Saudi League fans should not be underestimated.

In conclusion, both leagues have their strengths and weaknesses regarding popularity and fan base, but they share a common goal of growing their respective sports and engaging with fans worldwide.

Player Salaries and Transfers: MLS vs. Saudi League

Now let’s talk money, specifically player salaries and transfers in both leagues, because who doesn’t love a bit of financial gossip? When comparing the MLS and the Saudi League, there are significant differences in player salaries and transfer policies. To paint a clearer picture, let’s break down some key points:

  • Average player salaries: MLS players tend to earn higher average wages than their Saudi League counterparts. According to a 2019 Global Sports Salaries Survey, the annual average pay for an MLS player was around $410,000, whereas the average salary for a Saudi Pro League player was about $328,000.
  • Transfer policies: The MLS has a more structured and regulated transfer system, with rules such as the designated player rule, which allows teams to sign star players without affecting their salary cap. In contrast, the Saudi League has a more lenient approach to transfers, with clubs often spending big on international stars to boost their squads.
  • Notable transfers: Both leagues have seen high-profile players join their ranks, such as Zlatan Ibrahimović and Wayne Rooney in the MLS and Omar Abdulrahman and Bafetimbi Gomis in the Saudi League. These signings have undoubtedly elevated the leagues’ profiles and attracted more attention from fans and media alike.

MLS vs. Saudi League

As a result of these differences, the MLS offers players a more attractive financial package, leading to a higher overall quality of play in the league.

However, the Saudi League’s more flexible transfer policies allow clubs to bring in top talent worldwide, contributing to a competitive and exciting company.

Ultimately, both leagues have their strengths and weaknesses, and choosing which institution is ‘better’ ultimately depends on individual preferences and priorities.

So, whether you’re a fan of the more structured and financially stable MLS or the free-spending, star-studded Saudi League, there’s no denying that both leagues offer an exciting brand of football for fans to enjoy.

Success in International Competitions

Is Mls Better Than Saudi League

Diving into their success in international competitions is like opening a treasure chest for football enthusiasts, revealing the true prowess of both leagues on the global stage.

While the MLS and Saudi League have had their fair share of accomplishments, analyzing their performance in respective continental competitions is essential – the CONCACAF Champions League for MLS teams and the AFC Champions League for Saudi teams.

In recent years, both leagues have been steadily improving, with MLS teams showing more promise in the CONCACAF Champions League .

Saudi teams becoming a force to reckon with in the AFC Champions League. Let’s take a closer look at the performance of both leagues in their respective competitions:

LeagueTotal TitlesRunners-upSemifinalistsQuarterfinalists

As seen in the table, Saudi League teams have a slight advantage in terms of success in the AFC Champions League, with three titles compared to MLS teams’ two titles in the CONCACAF Champions League.

However, MLS teams have had more runner-up finishes, showcasing their competitive spirit. The journey to freedom in international soccer is an ongoing process for both leagues, and their achievements so far are just the beginning of an exciting future.

Future Prospects and Growth: MLS vs. Saudi League

It’s thrilling to explore the prospects and growth of these two dynamic leagues, as they each have unique strategies and opportunities in store for fans and players alike.

The MLS has set its sights on league expansion, aiming to grow to 30 teams in the coming years, giving more cities across North America a chance to experience the excitement of professional soccer.

Youth development programs are also being emphasized, with academies and partnerships with European clubs fostering the growth of talented players who can compete on a global stage.

Meanwhile, the Saudi League is striving to attract more international players and investors, working to elevate the quality of play and the global reputation of the league.

MLS vs. Saudi League

Planned league expansions: The MLS plans to expand to 30 teams, increasing the geographical reach and fan engagement, while the Saudi League looks to attract more international talent.

Youth development programs: MLS invests heavily in youth academies and partnerships with European clubs, while the Saudi League focuses on improving the quality of homegrown talent.

Sponsorship and investment opportunities: Both leagues want to attract more sponsorship and investment deals, directly impacting their financial growth and ability to compete internationally.

As the popularity of soccer continues to rise worldwide, both the MLS and the Saudi League are well-positioned to capitalize on this trend by adapting and growing in response to market demands.

With its plans for expansion, youth development, and increasing international player interest, the MLS is set to experience significant growth in the coming years.

On the other hand, the Saudi League’s focus on bringing in foreign talent, sponsorships, and investments will also help it grow in stature and competitiveness.

Ultimately, the prospects of both leagues are bright, and it’ll be fascinating to watch them evolve as they pursue their unique paths in the world of soccer.

Related: MLS Minimum Salary


Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which league appeals more to your soccer-loving heart. But when considering factors like quality, popularity, and growth, MLS takes the lead like a lion chasing its prey.

Don’t let the allure of the Saudi Professional League’s riches blind you from the potential that MLS offers. After all, sometimes, the underdog captures our hearts and leaves a lasting impression.

Manuel Esposito

Hello everyone! My name is Manuel and I've recently got my PhD in Sport and Excercise Science at the University of Portsmouth. I'm raised and born in New York, and I've been a big fan of soccer my whole life. Soccer is the reason why I got my PhD in Sport and Excercise Science, and my goal with this blog is to help you improve your soccer techniques, strategies, and knowledge!

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